a very lonely wife married to a workaholic

 I am in my mid 30s. I been married for 9 yrs now and have 3 small children all under the age of 10.  Ever since we relocated to a different state to be together, I haven't adjusted, not even to this day.  Neither he or myself have any family out here and I, for the most part, feel like a single parent, who's married.  my husband works either long hours, travels, or work weekends (NOT exaggerating), while I am left handling/managing/raising our 3 children.  I work outside the home but I am the one who picks them up, brings them home, prepare dinner, homework, baths and bedtime.  He does help as much as he can, none-the-less; it's been primarily me thru the marriage.  Just w/in these last several months (due to the economy etc), he was able to come home early, however several months doesn't add up to the years.  intimacy is from approx 6 to 8 mos in space (sad I know) and when it does occur...I initiate (every time).  I never discerned any un-faithfulness, but I always felt his career/job is the "mistress".  Because the time away from the home has been greater than in the home, we don't have much of an emotional connection as a married couple should have.  We've talked, but no one seems to want to be the "bad guy" and call it quits. I did however, have papers drawn up b/c I became so depressed, resentful, un-loved, un-desired etc..that I couldn't take it anymore, but I felt that I would be failing our children by "not trying hard enough".  But does one stay in a marriage for the kids only???  I'm tired of being depressed and lonely.  Even "if" we divorced, I know living on my own, I'd still be "lonely", but it won't be the same thing to me.  The other thing is is that I don't have "my own" finances to go out on my own, as everything has been brought into this union w/ his hands.  I was a stay-at-home mother before going back work, but never was able to secure a nest egg for "rainy days".  We're not rich and barely getting by now.  Sometimes I feel trapped...no family, nor "true" friends....it's just me, my husband and our 3 children.  I honestly don't know what to do.  If anyone could offer ANY advice...all is welcomed.  Thanks.

spring73 spring73
61 Responses Sep 29, 2009

Hello, I just found this post when I googled "How to deal with a workaholic" and realized its 7yrs old!!
What you wrote about how you felt, is the perfect summary of what I am currently feeling.
I truly believe in my Vows, and would never stray, and do not believe in Divorce.
Being alone IN a relationship is worse then being alone and single in my opinion.

Anyways, curious as to how you handled it, and would love some advice

Well I too am dealing with a workaholic, or I wouldnt be here like the rest of you! I knew years ago it wouldnt improve, they just do not connect with others, their minds stay so much into what they are doing, I see some of you saying he works 80 hours a week, well my husband is way more than 80 hours. He owns a car company, he runs 200 head of cattle, cattle sales, logging company, drives the logging truck, he also has bottle fed calves, and more.... He is so unconnected with life its amazing that he hasnt stroked out. Like all of you I love him, or do we? Or do we love the fact they are there maybe not in emotions but physically perhaps. All these years together and nothing... I have lost most of my family to death, and mind you those trials I have dealt with alone, completely as he says "not my fault your family isnt from here," so I go thru them completely alone, I even thought I had one day two of my sisters in two separate states both died of heart attacks, found one, went to tell the other and she too was dead. Still no emotional connection, my kicker was weeks later, my nephew a 7 year survivor of cancer passed, and yet still again no connection. Well no connection with me that is, that was the cue for me and Yep you got it a witch on the side. Did I blame the woman, nope, cause its highly excusable when most people who cheat never tell that person they are married or have the significant other. After all that happening in just a 4 month time, I decided take ME back, so yes, Im still married, but do I chase anymore, do I beg, nope, I am gonna do me, I do what I want when I want... I do not wait around for him, and do what I please that makes me happy... So basically you are either gonna stay or you are going to leave, that is your choice... But one thing I know for sure, do not use those kids as the reason for staying, kids are a lot more smarter than parents think, and if you arent happy, its a guarantee that those babies know it. You are also setting an example for your children that dad/mom being an absent parent is okay when not...After my children became adults they informed me they always knew, that was why they tried to keep me laughing... that hit me like a ton of bricks, no matter how much you try to fight those tears back, no matter how many laughs you push out, they know you are not happy... so for those on here saying I stay for the kids sake, DONT! Your child would love you either way you are, and probably secretly wishes you would just go depending on how bad they too are seeing the absent parent as a nuisance instead of a parent. You can set there and listen to them belittle you for many years to come, its always gonna be your fault they work too much, you are always gonna nag by asking to just talk... point is if that emotional connection is gone, ITS GONE>>> nothing you cry about, nothing you ***** about, nothing you change about yourself, nothing you say or do will change the fact you are living with a narcassitic ***** excuse of a human... that was obviously mistreated as a child himself to believe that keeping busy at work makes people love them more. So its basically a trait picked up from lack of mommie love or daddy love...one of the two you can determine it... You can explore every twist and turn and you can try to make laughable moments but in truth if you arent happy "IT IS JUST THAT" Your once great thing isnt so great anymore, but you can make it with or without.. Chances are you already are making it without. You just dont even realize it. And to all of you work aholics that have in depth came on this forum to justify what you do... GO TO WORK you dont have the time to talk let alone explain your misfortune of life in general on a forum... lol... Nice chatting with all of you, good luck on your next move, Dont spend your entire life waiting on someone to make you happy.... Get out and find your happiness... end of story

I have been legally married now for a few months but we have been together for over 8 years.

I love and respect my husband immensely and hurting him is the very last thing I ever want to do.

I know. I am sure that he loves me. I have never questioned it seriously but like so many of you here, his work comes before the kids and I and I do feel extremely lonely.

When we first started dating I told him without hesitation that the only thing worse than being alone is having someone and being alone.

He promised he would never hurt me and in his eyes he really hasn't. I can't even seriously believe that he even has the ability to recognize that him being gone all the time is breaking my heart daily.

I try to do other things to keep myself occupied. I get a lot of exercise. I recently started martial arts. I am doing everything I can to keep my mind from feeling what I feel because I already know he would choose work over me because bills still have to be paid and our kids still need to be supported and unfortunately, I could never make as much or so as well for us financially as he does.

It's just a fact. I have accepted this but I feel trapped. It's just not what I thought I was getting into.

We did everything together and we managed through some seriously hard financial times but then we moved to a new city and I was already 8 months pregnant at the time, and then he left for work and he has never really been back.

I feel like he took us here and dropped us off so that we cannot go anywhere. My kids are making their lives here so I don't really plan to leave even though I often think about running away. It's just irresponsible and unfair.

Life is like that, unfair.

I got dropped off in a place where I know no one, had a cesarean that I had to deal with all by myself. Literally not one person came to help. Who could?

My relationships with my kids are suffering because I am overwhelmed, lonely and genuinely unhappy. I am not the person I was before. I don't even know how to make friends anymore.

The person I know I am is in conflict with what I am supposed to be and I am incomparable with most people because I have different interest that aren't, idk, "housewife" ish.

I hate doing arts and crafts and shopping and that what all the other moms seem to want to do. In that repeat, I do understand why I haven't made any friends.

Nonetheless, without my best friend (my husband) who swore he would always be there for me and would never hurt me, has basically abandoned us and he tries to buy my forgiveness.

I know he feels so guilty about it yet despite my pleading for him to just get a different job and I will get a job and we can work things out poor but happy, he just cannot do that.

I don't k i.e. If he is a "workaholic", but he does work hard and a lot. I never see him. I love him and I know he loves me but I never see him.

The irony of life is that you never get what you want even when you do. And the thought of hurting him. I wouldn't even consider it. I mean I have thought about it but as much as he hurts me, I respect him still because it's not like he is doing things that I would consider bad.

The fact is that he is doing what he wants and I can't hold anyone back from doing what they want.

Still, I am hurt and lonely. There is nothing I can do. I could leave but he would hate me. He would believe that he gave me everything and I took it for granted. Even if I tell him again and again that I want him in my life not his stupid money, he would t see it that way.

So I spend my days fighting the air, putting all my anger and sadness I to reading, exercise, martial arts. It's not enough.

People start to ask why I insist on kicking a bad so hard I bruise then. Why I need to punch a bag so hard my knuckles bruise and swell. Why do I use the f word for everything and I cannot say anything.

There is nothing I can actually do besides tear my family apart and lose very thing and hurt everyone, that could release me from what I committed myself to.

Sure, there's "eye candy" but you can't touch it and even if I thought about it, I am so heavily jaded by the fact that the one person I do really love and desire cannot give me himself, why would I think I could get it from someone else.

I can't and I know it already unless I feel like hurting other people outside my family to boot. No thanks.

So I just go blankly and sadly through my life wondering how the person that my husband still insists is perfect and beautiful cannot manage to have him.

His work comes first. Plain and simple and that hurts.

@spring73 - I know this post is old, but when I saw it I had to comment. I hope you are happier now. You deserve to be happy. Did you end up going to counseling? I am 33 now and currently dealing with a workaholic husband myself. Up until recently I felt like I was blinded by love. We've been together for 10 years (5 dating and 5 married) and our relationship has gone downhill since August 2014. We were recently trying to have kids and then he changed his mind on having kids. He got a new job and has been dealing with a back injury on and off for 2 years. He's done everything to fix his back and can still do most things, but obviously there are limitations as you get older. Fast forward thru that…I pregnant (we were still trying at the time) and he was so unhappy with me because having the kid would ruin his life because he wouldn't be able to work. Which is not true. We both work at decent jobs and I even considered working less to take care of our child. I ended up having a miscarriage and it has left me devastated. My husband wasn't even there the day I mis-carried since he had a meeting at work and couldn't leave. He ended up coming home right after the meeting ended, but he was totally emotionally disconnected from me. He works from about 7 AM till late in the evening and on the weekends. We went to marriage counseling (2 different counselors), but he didn’t think anything was wrong with him. I feel for the commenters that said “they won’t change”. I didn’t believe that at first, but now I am starting to see it. I don’t want to give up, but I don’t see how things will get better. And now that he has taken kids off the table, I don’t know what else to do. I also have an illness that makes it harder to have kid as I get older. Any advice would be helpful. Kind regards.

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I Really feel for you all, like you my story is very similar, I left my country and family to be with my husband. He was the love of my life.

For the first two years of our marriage I had tried to be forgiving and patient, there was always some project that needed to be done, some important reason to not be there.

For Two years I waited patiently for him to come home even once for dinner!
he never had time in the evenings to relax like a normal couple (normally working till 11:30 - 12 at night

and in all that time have only visited friends 2--3 times.

I didn't lose my temper or nag, I just hoped that things would eventually change
its my third year of being married, I cried for the first two years to sleep now I just don't know what to do anymore I just feel so numb and sad.

He says I nag now! but thats only because I want to discus it!
(apparently thats equal to nagging, even if you do it conversationally and with humour!)

(The frustration and sadness I feel is so immense, I see the life my parents had together and wish that for us, I see so much time wasted, the office will never give back the time to us or me, and never give any sort of loyalty in return for sacrificing the best part of our lives, or for sacrificing the best part of my life.)

Ive tried negotiating schedules, computer off time all with good humour.
but he just wont listen. (He just says he hasn't had time yet to look at his calendar or that its too busy)

I turn 40 this year and I had hoped so much to have a real family with real family time. I feel like this whole dream and possibility is over. nothing changes

my husband controls all of the money and how everything runs in the household, and has basically said If i don't like things to leave - he wont compromise on anything and wont even listen.

at other times he seems to be kinder and says he'll look at doing something, but any real changes are not there

I feel like I have to leave to be happy - but my heart is so broken.
I always feel like - if only

if only he'd see how life should be
if only he'd see how much I love him

but nothing can be normal with this horrible addiction to work.
so its pointless to even feel this.

I'm glad I found this website. I gained a lot of strength knowing my situation is the same as others. I've been married to a workaholic for 20 years and we have two teen boys. At times I hate my situation, the hours of work have been endless, my husband is not really that interested in the boys and that's what pains me the most that they don't have a close and engaged father. On the upside we have had a lavish lifestyle, well above the average, travelled a lot and seen the world and eat out, live in a big beautiful house.

Of course everyone posting on this topic knows that nice things will only make you so happy. We have never had dinners at home regularly as a family, I often go to things alone and family and friends really know what it's like for me and I think they pity me overall. Unfortunately my husband will never change, workaholism is an illness that is like any other addiction. The person will not change. Luckily my wonderful mother has been around for me and has provided a lot of support through hard times for me.

I have changed somewhat, I keep myself busy with interests, hobbies, photography, gardening, looking after the kids, running their sports teams and going out with my friends. I'm saddened that I'm always the one working out holidays and our family has been used like a hotel with no limits on when my husband can come and go. I do enjoy the upsides of the travel but the long hours alone are very hard as others have mentioned. I think things will change once both our boys have finished high school. I will have more choices, however I have no plans to leave home. I definitely feel my children come first here and life is better for them with us together.

I don't even think the person himself can change, sadly. I only hope I haven't gone through life with too many regrets. I have to look around and get a perspective, many children live in split households or without one parent.

I continue working on myself with many self help books, doing creative things and trying not to let a person really irritate me on a continual basis. It's very hard. Whatever mechanisms I've tried, like setting a time to come home, planning holidays, going away myself, only work to a certain point. I guess I have to be grateful for the good things I have in life.

I am looking forward to three years time when I really will be free to do what I want. Thanks again for a wonderful forum for sharing experiences. I've found lots of coping tips and reinforcement that I'm ok here.

Maybe you need to talk to other people who need someone to talk to. There is a myriad of people out there who are working through their own challenges and could use your help. It's interesting to me, life can be painful and beautiful at the same time....it's a matter of perspective. I've noticed a pattern in my own life, which suggests that we're not here alone, that possibly our life challenges are being manipulated to help us to become stronger and wiser.

omg! It is after 2 am and my boyfriend of 12 years is at work. I know he's actually at work... we worked together for years and he's always had this crazy schedule. he works from 11 am until 4 am every weekday and sleeps most of the weekend. I thought it was cool and geeky (we're both programmers) when we were young.. Not so much now. I've saved a bunch and am taking a break from work -- and he's disgusted with me. I want to travel. I want to have fun on the weekends. Our finances are separate so there's no practical reason for him to care what I do but he disapproves. I originally stopped working when my Dad was dying and he accepted it until a few weeks ago when he started screaming at me - "so, what are you doing?! are you retired? is that what you are, retired?!" (Maybe I am, I don't know.) But I've been grieving and lonely and depressed and he has been almost entirely absent; when he is around, he is sullen and picky. The subtext is that he is angry at me for not working. Its funny, until now I never questioned his anger. Even though I support myself, he has a lot to say about how I spend money and what I do. I feel like I've been more and more under his thumb. Meanwhile, I'm paralyzed because I'm afraid of interviewing (tech interviews are hellish, especially for women, especially over 40) but I don't want him to hate me and I get into this mental cycle of remembering sad things and mistakes I've made and I feel totally stuck and worthless. I know I am not the happy, confident woman he fell in love with. I just look around my stupid, over-priced silicon valley *apartment* and notice, with horror, my 2 cats, and think: I am the biggest failure on the planet. I have absolutely nothing and no one, my family is mostly dead and my workaholic boyfriend is absent. But now I'm thinking: I wish he was totally absent - then maybe I could find someone who likes me.

It's unfortunate that your having a difficult time but this should not make you feel unlikeable. If this has been a pattern in your life, there might be many plausable explanations. First, is being accepted by the status quo really important to you. People who are linely are often make very good friends. I think that there are many people who want to be accepted by the wrong kind of people and fear leaving the painful security blanket they've wrapped around themselves. Explore other options for friendships, work at it, if you want it bad enough, you might be surprised what might come your way but mostly be honest with yourself about who you are. Everyone who is capable of being a good friend, deserves to have friendship.

I read your story and felt i was not alone.I have a kid and married for 12 years. My husband has an over possessive mom who stays with us.My husband basically a very caring person but bcoz of work pressure he startted neglecting me.Comes back at 12 in the night.sleeps seperately.......is an introvert and does not open up.if i ask him anything....says you should have got a better husband...is that the solution.....iam not walking out.....bcoz it will affect my kid..please take care and be strong and happy for yourself....pray and you can acheive more than what you think

I am joining only to answer to this post and hopefully help someone. Reading through I noticed a couple of posts from women who have stuck it out for years living with a workaholic. Having been married now to a workaholic for 38 years, I consider myself an expert.
I have sought counseling and in the end find that it is not a choice for people who work too much but an inner need to help fulfill lack of self esteem. Working good makes them feel good. As a wife, I have done just about anything and everything possible to help with my husbands need but in the end there really is nothing a person can do to help anothers self esteem. It is lonely but coming from a broken home myself, I chose to keep my family together. It is hard! There are times I too want to run...and far!!
If a workaholic could come home and give what they give at work...it wouldn't be an issue. But, they stretch themselves so much that we end up with what is left and that is usually very little. My husband has worked seven day weeks, swing shifts, ran another business while I too worked and never felt financially set. So much of this was just his psyche and once again nothing I can change. One of the counselors did put the "responsibility" on me to turn things around...well folks, I have enough on my plate dealing with what I do to take on the responsility to shoulder another persons inadequacies. I feel this is what it is. I have never blamed myself...I have been a good, loving wife, raised good kids, kept a nice home and worked and kept myself interesting. We just can't change people like this. Period! So stop beating yourself up that it is something YOU are doing wrong...absolutely has nothing to do with you.
The tough choice is if YOU can live in this kind of situation because no matter how many years you are married it will not change. They will find another way to fill their needs, it may be yardwork, side jobs etc. they do not change and I repeat do not change!
Looking back because of my history, I don't believe I would have made the choice to leave. Was it the right one for me, no. It is not fun being lonely or dealing with a workaholics dreadfully boring, self gratifying personality but I have filled my life with friends and interesting people. My children are a joy as adults to be around and so I look at my "pie" in pieces. My piece labeled my "husband" is just that and as sad as this sound it really isn't so bad, just can sometimes be difficult. We can never be everything to one person yet, in a marriage I believe we deserve so much more than we get with a workaholic husband. Yet, I don't believe it is a fair trade-off to put children through a divorce and affect them their whole lives.
The toughest part is the loneliness! Robin Williams has a wonderful quote "I used to think the worst ting in life was to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is sto end up with people that make you feel all alone". For anyone who is married to a workaholic this resonates truth!

You give me so much hope. It wasn't until he found his true passion in computers did I end up in this boat and am at a loss on how to live. I look at the dots, commas, and jargon that he can stare at for hours on end and just shake my head in bewilderment. The good side is he is extremely interactive with his kids. He's a great father, son, friend, employee,....but has no clue as a husband since he found his career and passion in his work.

I am a "workaholic" nice word for someone who would rather spend time at work than at home. YOU are the problem, YOU create an uncomfortable home enviorment for your husband, and so, life is more comfortable away from you. Now figure it out, and fix it before you loose him.

Wtf! You don't know what their situation is. Don't be a complete ***.


also uncalled for

Nice reading skills.

Your response is rude and lacks, support, and respect. If you have a problem at home, look for help without being aggressive to others. We will pray for you, though. As we
pray for all those who prefer to hide and be hateful instead of being hopeful, communicative and positive.

What an idiot to post a reply like this one!
Please reply with authenticity, support, and respect

2 More Responses

you dont have to be lonely i will be your friend come chat
if you want to vent come on as long as someone makes you smile your still fighting and only in your heart you know the answer its what you feel that will make your decision

Hi I am a fed up housewife and what a relief to read these posts that others have been though it and out the other side. I am married to a complete workaholic who has lost all perspective on what is important in life. We have been married for 14yrs and have two kids one teen and one pre-teen. I have lived now in two different countries and in the US three different states within the last 12yrs. My husband is a very hard worker with a very demanding job that pays very well. But he has no work life balance at all. In all the locations where we have moved he has never tried to make a life for himself and has no friends, interests or family and barely communicates with me on a normal level. He does not seem to need companions, friends or a social life. Any holidays, social life is by my doing ie my friends etc. When we are out on a date night there is a lot of silence and no laughter. He does not even react if I get looks from other men. He interacts with the kids on a normal level and . On the outset it seems I have the most prefect life no money worries and a high end lifestyle but I feel like a single Mon in a crap marriage. I can't get him to go to counselling as he is a introvert and he would never open up even though he knows his marriage is on the line. I have told him that he is losing me as I feel it is better to on my own and I can make my own decisions in life but he will not try to talk to me. Have tried everything under the sun to try and sort this out but don't know what else to do.

Hi Bridget,

I have also registered just to respond to you. My husband of almost 20 years is a workaholic. We live in a foreign country (US) and have relocated many times. Thinking back my husband was like this few months after we met. First few months I was his center of attention. After that it was work. He regularly comes home around 10:00 pm from work. Doesn't have any friends and doesn't talk to his family. I do have to admit I enjoy our financial security and lifestyle. But I don't even know how marriage is post to be. I know that I don't even include him in my life anymore. He is nice to our 3 children. Sometimes takes them to their sports game on the weekend. Mainly because I take one of them to their game as well. But I know that the children don't miss him. He doesn't have deep relationships with them. They love each other but the children rely on me. I know life is not perfect. I take the children around the world for few months in the summer. We usually meet my husband somewhere for 2 weeks. I wonder how this will all turn out...

Hi lonely housewife. I registered here JUST to respond. My story is a lot Luke yours, but with some small differences.
I am 33. I was with my husband 10 years total: 5 dating 5 married. He was always a hard worker, which got him much praise and respect from my parents, friends, etc. Slowly, I started noticing he had NO balance in his life. After we got married right after we both graduated uni, the trouble began. He worked incessantly but it seemed acceptable at the time because we were young and getting our careers off the ground. Hubby did very well for us and with a very comfortable if not lavish lifestyle made me the envy of our friends and my siblings. This praise and admiration was like fuel on his fire and spurred him on to work harder harder longer more hours mire days, etc etc. It was NEVERENDING. Then at about year 4 of marriage he began slllllllllowly pulling away from me and it was so gradual I thought I was being silly. Ladies, I have just one thing to say: if your husband finds any reason at all to sleep in another room and not initiate sexual
Activities EVER, something IS wrong no matter what he may say to the contrary. Here is where my story gets a bit different:
After months and months of him pulling away I finally commented that I was unhappy spending so much time alone and that something needed to change. I wasn't rude about it, I didn't cry, scream, or issue ultimatums. How did he respond? He immediately blurred out: "oh so you're unhappy too? Ok I think we should split up."... Just like THAT. As if he had suggested "hey u feel like pizza too? Let's order one."
I was in total shock. I insisted we go for marriage counseling. After just 3 sessions the therapist had him all figured out. She told him he's a workaholic and is risking losing all of his close relationships in life due to this illness. He was infuriated that she had pegged him do quickly and was trying to hold him accountable for his actions. That was all it took. We never went back and he left me. He LEFT MEEEEEEE! He acted as if it were some form
Of self sacrifice and I was still young enough to "find someone that can make me happy". I told him "you have the power to make me happy, you just refuse to dedicate the time to our marriage". He left that night and I was in shock for a long time. I myself have a busy and fulfilling career but I never let it get in the way of out marriage. He made the choice everyday to put work before me. Then he would justify it and play the martyr for working so hard. We had no kids, no extra mouths to feed, no financial crisis. His lack of self worth deep down drove him to be a workaholic to fulfill something he was lacking deep inside. It almost made me lose my sense of who I was. Attending parties, weddings, family events always Aline, always making excuses as to where he was. I felt useless when he left, because I no longer knew who
I was if I wasn't his other highly neglected half.
Guess what? 2 months after he left I fully realized how lucky I was. It was the best thing that could have happened. I am so much happier, in a fun relationship with a man 10 years younger than me, making up for lost time and enjoying myself immensely. I don't think I would have ever had the courage to leave him, because when you are in the thick of a relationship you lose sight of what is and us not acceptable. Like your nose adjusting to a bad smell, you can get used to the most putrid of situations and it isn't until you've had a breath of fresh air that you realize how close to suffocating you actually were.
Lets be honest, my husband left me for his own selfish reasons. But the result was that it was the most thoughtful and generous thing he had ever done for me.

Hi, I know this is old but I stumbled upon it trying to find answers as to why I am feeling excitement from a younger colleague at work. Questions answered led to more questions eventually leading me to "is his career getting in the way of our relationship?" Anyway, I have been with my boyfriend for six years and luckily we have no children and have both decided not to have any (i can't have children due to an illness). If I had to name his priorities I would say 1) his career 2) his ill parents 3) our relationship. I knew this coming into the relationship when I was only 23. I moved across the country to be with him and we have had a wonderful relationship but recently a young man and I engaged in some flirting one night while having some drinks at a company party and he filled me with excitement! I am familiar with these feelings and have had them in the beginning of past relationships but I never really had them with my current boyfriend. Our relationship has been very caring, respectful, and "organized" for a lack of a better word but in hindsight it looks more like an agreement than a love story. Anyway, he works a lot to take care of his parents and me and I am very thankful but I feel like his "workaholic" way of life is pushing me towards wanting to be with him for love and safety but pushes me towards another for excitement and passion....I know we can't have it all and I have cut ties with the young man although it was very difficult to do but I wonder if this will always be my life. A comforting safe relationship lacking intensity and passion...

Be careful. You will eventually be tempted because your current relationship isn't fulfilling you. Dont settle for less than you deserve. You should always be your mans first priority. Yes, he needs to work, take care of his parents, pay the bills; so do you that's reality. But there SHOULD be un underlying sense that you are his #1 and time and effort should be spent cultivating a passionate partnership. You won't be able to fake being satisfied forever and will eventually latch on to someone who will give you what you are lacking. Do yourself and HIM a favor, express your feelings. Give him a fair chance to prove he CAN be the man you want/ need. If he can't/ won't be bothered, there's your opportunity out.

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I cannot tell you what a relief it is to read such similar stories. To those of you who aren't yet married to a workaholic, I say RUN! it is an addiction, just like drugs or alcohol. The only differences are that it is socially acceptable, and thus easier for them to justify to themselves. The "high" they get is reinforced every time they show up (early) for work, every time they get a pat on the back from the boss, every time they make a coworker look bad. It's all about PRIDE.

I have been married for nine years, and all the jobs he's had, he's invested so much time and energy into them that it actually took a toll on his health. He had a blood clot enter his lung and almost died (away from home on a work trip, of course.) Even that wasn't enough to make him reassess. Eventually, he got used up and spit out from that company, and is onto his next one. The new boss actually doesn't want him working so many hours, tells him to go home, and he still won't. So 8 to 4:30 has turned into 7 to 5:30 or 6, except on Fridays when he buys beer for his crew and they stand around the shop drinking until 7, 8 or 9pm.

He justifies with the usual excuses: "If I don't stay and do it, it won't get done," "I have to make myself indispensable," and my personal fave, "I have to work hard to provide for our family." Of course, I am always being "selfish," "ungrateful," "disrespectful" and/or "mean" whenever I dare to broach the subject.

I have endured a miscarriage, a broken bone, two hurricanes and countless hours and nights alone. I gave up making excuses to my son, and now when he asks, I tell him the truth: "work is more important than we are."

I feel your pain. It's a socially acceptable even praised addiction. But it left me feeling unworthy and questioning why I wasn't enough to make him come home at a decent hour and spend time with. He'd opt to take me on fancy expensive vacations to faraway places then act as if he were the best husband ever for all of the lavish things he would do. But he'd just set up his laptop and work even on vacation. He got a high of off being "successful" like a narcissist primping and preening. Thank god he's gone. What a waste of a decade.

Wow, my husband does the same thing--he wastes money on taking us out to eat all the time; we just used up every dime of our savings accompanying him on a work trip overseas, leaving us w/ no money for Christmas (he was counting on a "bonus" that never came. ) I actually had to shop for presents for my son at the fkng dollar store! I was so humiliated when I had to give back food items for our Christmas dinner at the register because his debit card was overdrawn! (All that work so everybody else can laugh their way to the bank, and I'm left counting pennies!) After three days, he finally noticed how cold and upset I was with him, and when I explained how I felt, he accused me of being "materialistic" and said "nothing was ever good enough" for me.

I realize now that I will have no choice but to divorce this man. I feel like as long as I keep his d**k empty and his belly full, he just doesn't care if I am miserable. I am such a fool, I let myself become financially dependent on him, which at first he was happy with, but now it's just another reason why he is "under so much pressure" and why he "has to work so hard."

Everything that comes out of his mouth is designed to make me feel like s**t. I hate him. I don't mean, like, a temporary feeling of anger or frustration. It is so far beyond that, I can't stand the way he talks (incessantly), chews, smells, laughs. He disgusts me so much, it's all I can do to refrain from screaming at him when he grabs my boob or my crotch. Eeew, he's like a clumsy teenager. It's disgusting. I ******* hate him.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to support myself and my son without having to move to my mom's at the other end of the state. I hear divorces are really expensive, too. Is that true? There's gotta be a way to get one without involving a shyster/lawyer. Any advice, Ladies?

I was thinking of going to a shelter, but a. he doesn't physically abuse me, and b. I am white, so I don't think they'll even let me in the door. I don't have any "real" friends who would let me stay with them if I left him. (Apparently, all my friends are only tolerating me to get access to him, since he's the go-to Mr. Fixit guy in the sailing community.) I cannot believe I let myself get into this situation.

The ? Is do u really still love him if u do stick around it will get better, as they say the grass always looks better on the other side,once your children start getting older u guys will have more time for yourselves ,I'm noticing it now with my wife my daughter is getting older 13now and were slowly getting our love life back been married for 15 years ,and yes I do work a lot and she does too .well good luck maybe chat with ya soon

It never gets better. 33 years, kids that I raised alone are out on their own, I'm home with 2 cats. When he does get home he eats supper and falls asleep. After I post this I'm going to bed, as usual, without him. He'll come back to the bedroom at some point, after I'm asleep. Never gets better. I'm still in for the long haul, but I am so lonely and alone and it's been such a long time.

I feel for you. I hope you have some fun girlfriends and fulfilling hobbies. Carve out some happiness for yourself. You deserve it.

Fck him I'll **** u goodC:

I have been married to a workaholic for over 15 years (2nd marriage). Everyone "loves" him. He has some outstanding qualities, but the loneliness envelops me at times. I, like many of you, buried myself in my children. When it came time for them to "grow up" it was another crushing blow to my life leaving a gaping hole. Workaholics have a large denial system, as with any other "aholic" addictive behavior. You cannot force them into doing anything else, because they only get angry and withdrawal from you even more. Addiction is addiction - it has no other face. IF I HAD KNOWN what I would face in my marriage - I would have run the other direction as fast and hard as I could. No matter how much you think you love him, you will only regret that you didn't move on to a more healthy relationship. I stay in my marriage because I feel it is best to work things out and I have strong convictions (religious beliefs). I focus on other things and try to serve my family and community. I hope this helps.

I have been married to a workaholic for almost 10 years. We have taken no vacations together during this time. He has not taken one day off of work, though Saturday is his "church day" where he will go to church, then come home and eat lunch, then log onto the computer for the rest of the day/night. No family time. We have 4 children under the age of 9. I wonder how that happened, given that we are never together. For the last 1.5 years we have seen him only 1 day a week (his church day) though he is unengaged with us, and for the previous 3 years before that, only once every 2 or 3 weeks because he took a job out of state. Last week he worked 120 hours during 6 days. I talked to him about this and asked when he thought work would let up a little so we could spend time together. He looked at me like I was crazy and said that "It won't". For the last decade he has said "One day." Now it is "It won't." He says this is how this life is supposed to be, and if I am waiting for things to change in this life, that won't be happening.
It has been almost 10 years of continual loneliness, always waiting for the day when "the land is paid off" or "we buy a house" or "the car is fixed" or.....
To those of you who are engaged to a workaholic, please understand that it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY this is going to change unless your partner is hard-core about counseling (self propelled, not nagged by you) and making changes.
You may hope it will change, but you need to ask yourself if you are willing to live in a marriage of One (not two). There is no way to prepare for the loneliness and feelings of abandonment that come along with a marriage to a workaholic. Intimacy is destroyed. Connection to your spouse is destroyed. Not to mention, you feel very vulnerable when other men come around and give you compliments, attention, or time that your spouse is not willing to give. You will function as a single parent, your children will NOT have a father (or mother, whatever be the case). It has taken me about 10 years to figure out this is goign to continue, even though family and friends figured that out years ago. I have held out a lot of hope, giving my husband the benefit of the doubt, but now that he's confirmed to me in words (instead of the 10,000 excuses he's always given) that things aren't changing, it is devastating. As much as you might love an individual, trying to keep your sanity and hope alive in an abandoned marriage is next to impossible. I love my husband so much it hurts. I think about him all day, waiting for the day he will dedicate an entire 15 minutes to me. Had I known ahead of time what this marriage would entail, I wouldn't have done it. Trying to reprioritize on my children now.

Working vacations are the only vacations my husband will take. He won't take time off work to spend as a couple or a family, but he will take all kinds of time off to work on other projects for other people or at home.

You are an adult who can understand all the complexities of this situation yet you still yearn for him to come home and validate your existence with some affection and attention ( I was the same way)
But imagine how a child feels growing up knowing their father chooses to be absent for the sake of money. Unless you're starving or going to lose your house there is no excuse for him neglecting his kids. You will be around the pick
Up the pieces when he leaves for good, and he will eventually becuase workaholics are cold and detach themselves from you emotionally to be capable of continuing to hurt you.
You deserve to be 100% happy.

this is a tragic story...i feel for you...if he is willing to work with you ...then you dont need to stray...you should make a night out for youselves...do the things you did before you had children... share your needs and fantasies...if he is unwilling to do that...then get out...ifnd out what the laws are in your area as far as spousal support...but dont cheat...you willl regret it for the rest of your life

Thanks for writing this, and all of the comments. It felt good to read that I am not alone, even though I am sure no one feels "good" about their situation.

I am 32, and engaged to be married to a workaholic. When we were dating, I told him I wouldn't move in with him until he reduced his work hours. (His job is supposed to be 8-4:30, Monday to Friday, but he usually arrives early, works late, and adds in occasional nighttime shifts. He works with an IT company and projects that disturb the local cable or internet service need to be done at night - but he does not compensate by taking daytime hours off in lieu.)

He agreed and cut back a bit. We got engaged and I moved in. Within two months, the hours had risen again. Then one of his coworkers quit - causing his workload to rise more. New staff was finally hired in December, but they are still getting up to speed three months later - partly because my fiance is responsible for both his job and training the new staff (meaning even more work). When the regional boss came to visit, he suggested taking some of my fiance's work away because he saw how overworked he was - and my fiance argued against it.

This week alone, he has worked about 70 hours (and that's an estimate, as he is currently still at work). Monday through Saturday, ranging from 10-14 hours a day.

We talk about it - he says he understands it is a problem but he can't do anything. (I would say - if you can't make your family, or future family, enough of a priority to actually spend 3-4 hours a day at home, then you need to look for a new job.) When discussing starting a family after the wedding, it gets heated. He wants to have a child. I refuse to start trying until he brings his work hours down to 40-45 a week and keeps them there. I don't want to be responsible for raising children on my own. We live across the country from my family (another promise he has broken - saying we could move to my home province before we start a family, but now when looking, he rejects every job, even those of the same pay scale). So, we live down the street from his parents, whom I have to call Mr. and Mrs. or "D's mom and D's dad" (cannot call by first names). I am lonely, separated from my family, and he wants me to have children while he works on average 55-65 hours a week. And gets angry when I say no.

I have been considering calling off our wedding and leaving because of this. I just don't know what to do. We tried counseling (the counselor basically told him to get his act together) and nothing.

R u still with him??? This is so similar to me. I also live down the street from his parents. He moved us near them so he could neglect me more but have them close in case of emegency in my opinion.
Plz do NOT MARRY HIM. And For the love of god have no children. You deseve better. He's not the only fish in the sea. You are worthy of a dedicated partner who adores spending time with you. Why in the world does he want you to have kids?? To complete his little collection of what he THINKS he should be accomplishing in his life?: job, wife, 2 kids, house, car.... Etc
You are better than that!!

Thank you for asking this question! all of your posts have been so helpful to me. And I hope they have helped spring73 too.

I have been with my partner five years, he has his own business and spends everyday all day there, I'm talking from 10am - 3am! seven days a week, this year we had a two week holiday together.

One of the reasons I feel in love with him was because of how hard working he was. Two years ago I decieded I needed to make myself busy so that I would not notice his working hours so much. Two years on and I have a successful business and am very happy at work, I take two days off per week, one of them I purposly took off on his quietest day so we could spend time together...........two years down the line and he has never spent the full day with me.

I wake up alone, I go to work , I pop in to his work on my lunch break or on my way home to see him and he can't even stop what he is doing for 10 mins to say hi (he has a pub and is usually just talking to the locals ), I go home from work on my own, I just feel I have no one to chat with or have fun with and genrally aprciate life with, the only time I see him is if he is watching tv late at night if I stay up especially to spend time with him, or if he takes me out after he finishes work at 3am!! not my choice of hour to go out...I have even had to go to weddings alone with him leading me on saying he will call me and turn up a little later when he is not busy at work.....7 hours later I am stood at the reception alone.

I don't know what to do, I feel like I have tried everything and now I am getting more depressed and lonely and this mood really isn't going to make him want to come home or spend time with me! The black hole is getting bigger. We are suposed to be getting married in 6 months...as I write this I can feel myself age with worry!!

He earns more than me and that means his job is more important and I know he loves his job and I would never take it away from him but one consistant day off every week is all I am asking to have some routine and normality in our life.

Am i unreasonab

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ok .. am not much of a counselor but i know this far from my own readings and personal experiences .. the more you want attention ( which is a natural thing btw) the more you wont receive any ... so here is a tip .. first you need to find yourself a hobby ..reading is a good idea and it is never uninteresting ... you can find a good book to read ..or start to paint ..( you can check youtube ) u can learn how to paint with a pencil simple drawing .. while you are doing that ..dont let the problem u are having manipulate your brain or consume you .. instead think this way ..if u can do nothing about the problem .. let it go as long as you can .. dont wreck your brains over it ...while u r doing that ..take care of yourself .. put on make up and perfume while you are home ..put on decent good looking cloths on ..if u cant go out that doesnt mean u dont look good .. make sure when he comes home ..that u always look sexy and available ..if he is always tired ...full intercourse is not the answer ..instead a hot message will do the trick for both of you .. and learn how to keep yourself busy ... your kids can be a terrible load i know but practical thinking always works .. as they grew up teach them how to participate in the choirs ..like washing the dishes ..make it subtle so that they dont complain ..like ask the elder ...show me how u do that ..or cant you ..i dont know come up with something that doesnt look like u r ordering them .. and be patient the world is full of failed marriages..it pays to be patient .. your husband is not perfect but he is trying to make it for all of you .. ( am not defending him ) ..all am saying work it out ..you seem to be a smart woman .. cheers and good luck ..

Message me? We can talk. Or call 408 772 8919. I want to listen to you and see what advice I can give

I'm afraid I'm an older version of your husband. 30yrs latermy wife says she loves me she just can't live with me. I have many regrets

wow...I can totally feel your heartbeat there and I totally understand. Same here....

I'm much older than you and have been in an emotionally, intimacy deprived marriage for 30+ years. Get out while you can or MAKE SURE that your partner goes into counseling with you. Don't wake up when you're over 50 wondering what the hell you can do or until you're too depressed to think.

Good luck!!!

I am 28 andengaged to , I'm pretty certain, a workaholic. I love him, of that I have no doubt, but I'm not positive marrying him is the right choice. From what I read here it seems like most marriages to work aholics don't end well. I feel like walking way now would be so hard but I'm sure it wont get easier, right? So what to do? I know and respect working long hours is part of his work. I also know I don't want to single handedly raise our children. I realize that there isn't much for advice I can help me make this decision. It does feel good to get my hesitations out there though! If anyone has wise words I'd love to hear them.

Thank you. Everyone, thank you. I have read stories that are eerily identical to mine. I’m 38 I've been married for 9 years and have two young kids, 5 and 7. I don't feel ready to leave my marriage despite the utter loneliness I feel. After reading your stories, I feel confident that: 1. My husband is a workaholic and 2. I am not crazy or too needy, or emotionally unstable. I know that in his line of work, the successful people have never been married or are divorced. I know that he’s excellent at what he does. I know that if he didn’t give it his all he would not have already accomplished so much. I know that his field is highly specialized and at this point he can’t really do much else and be as successful at it. I know all this because I hear it each time I nag about how much he works.

I’m not ready to leave because I'm scared, and because I know our kids are happy, I try to protect them from how much he works. I tell them how much he misses them and how he wishes he could be at home with us. I want them to feel loved by both of us. Our life is comfortable and I wonder if I would just end up worse off and wish I had kept my family together and not been so selfish. But I know I will need to leave eventually. The thought of the kids grown up, and just the two of us left – it would be a lonely hell. Also, by that time, my chances of finding real love would be slim to none. I would resent throwing away so many years of my life when I could have possibly met someone right for me or just been happy on my own. For now, I am prepared to give up that desire, bury my loneliness, be the best mom I can be to my kids, play the role of a good wife, keep going in my own career. I don’t know what the breaking point will be for me but I suspect it will come if my kids ever see through it all. Then I will need to show them that I can take charge of my life and leave him to his work.

We all want perfection IN a relationship, but we seldom bring perfection TO the relationship. I know when I come home after a 50-mile commute on crowded freeways 12 hours after I drove 50 miles into work at a very stressful job that I want peace and quiet in a clean home with a wife who looks as hot as the women I work with and gourmet dinners on the table and not being nagged, not being required to perform in bed, just being loved by a woman who seems to like me just the way I am. The rest will follow naturally. Marriage counseling by qualified professionals might be a good place to start -- or since you've started here in this forum -- a good second step.

Open and honest dialog is the first and best step in any happy relationship. You do need to be honest with your wife and explain the benefits of these sacrifices. Both WILL understand and accept.

truly a ***** you are!

Hey Selmer, what you want is not a wife; you want a slave. Get off this webpage and go order yourself a bride from Russia or Vietnam. Leave us Western girls alone. And pls don't spread your douchebag genes around. We're trying to phase your kind out of the population.

You mean when u come home u expect a **** to be opening the house.u deserve to.be in a brothel.thanx for responding cos this is the typical response my hisband gives so intimidate women and to to make us feel guilty.so we are trapped in that guilt for ever.all u guys need is a wife for social sake.im an asian anf it says women need to dress up and be presentable to husband but not to a man who doesnt understand the feeling of a woman.if he doesnt undertsnad her feeling she has all yhe rights to leave him.but sadly women are trapped omen a

1 More Response

I do regret your situation and hope you can find peace in knowing it is likely done for you. Open communication always works best.

If I may be permitted a bit of humor: in my experience, wives have two basic complaints about their husbands. Either they don't make enough money or they work all the time. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Ditto story for me for 30 years. Moved 13 times all over the world. Leaving achieves nothing. Stay, raise and love your children with all your heart. Force your husband to spend some good time with you and go ahead and initiate sex, what are you waiting for? I fill my life with my the new friends I make, my family on Skype and hobbies I love. Nobody every said marriage was easy, we all are prisoners of something, no one is truly free. You are responsible for your own joy, not him. That is liberating in itself.

I have been married ton a workaholic for 30 years. We had four children under four years. In the beginning I thought we shared common goals..wanting to establish ourselves, create security etc. Inevitably, I realized work was his mistress. Even during times of great emotionL stress or illness my husband would still go to work.<br />
Six years ago I moved with him interstate so that he could pursue his dream job. I should never have done this because I removed myself from the support of family and friends. I became very lonely and depressed. Eventually I moved back home ( this was not easy ) and we see each other on weekends.<br />
My husband perceives that I have psychological problems that need to be addressed. He does not feel he should change his relationship to work. He states that work is the most important thing in his life. He thinks I should move back and address my problems.<br />
Am I correct in thinking he is the one that should address his problems.

this I have to reply to. my husband says that I need counseling and any isues are mine. he never stops working, we do v little together and I am the main earner of the family. he has me conviced i'm looking it. 3 small children under 2, well 3yrs now and i come home after stresful job and get tea, bath and ready for bed. then he arrves home after weeding or planting veg, clear head and turns on tv or radio. and hardly chats or makes every with me. my head ready to fall off

I think you have (partially) addressed your problems...him.

For those living with a Workaholic I strongly recommend reading,<br />
"Chained to the Desk" by Bryan E. Robinson, Ph.D.<br />
Most excellent book on the subject.<br />
It will help you make a more informed decision whether to <br />
stay with a workaholic.

Thank you for this advice. I will definitely read this book.

I am totally dumbfounded by all of the stories here & the information I have seen on the internet! I wish I would have researched workaholic personalities & how it affects their families years ago. It would have saved me from so much emotional turmoil having to live with a man like this. I have been with him for 18 years...married 15 & I always thought the problem was me. I could never understand why he never wanted to spend time with me & our two girls & tried EVERYTHING to get him to come home. He blamed it on me telling me I was too insecure & it did a big number on my self-esteem. We have just started the divorce process because he just couldn't take the "nagging" & wanting him to be home anymore. When I first met him I noticed there was a problem & I always thought it was because he was self-employed & owned his own business. When he gave up the business & started working for other companies the behavior never changed. Just like one of the posts I read here....all the employees would leave at 5 & he would be there all hours of the night working in his office alone even pulling all nighters. I thought for years he was having affairs on me...I just could not believe someone could work like this & there had to be another reason for it. It literally drove me insane! This past year he took on a new job & that is when everything took a turn for the worse. He was on the road 20 days or more out of the month to where he was only home about 4 days or so. He just kept telling me he felt soo unappreciated here at home & kept reminding me he had to do this because he had to support our family. But now that we are divorcing... I know the problem wasn't all me. Emotionally I didn't take it well but I now know that I wasn't crazy like he led me to believe. I see now that being a workaholic is a real problem & affects everyone involved! I feel for all of you here who have had to deal with the emotional stress being married to someone like this....I know...I've lived it!

How are you doing now hun? I feel such a connection to your story. My husband was the same way. Work till 1am, cone home sometimes sleep for 2 or 3 hours then head Back to the office for 4:30 am.
He acted like I was the insane one for daring to question his dedication and ambition.
I'm dating someone new now, his exact opposite. We enjoy every minute laughing and having fun. I am so relieved!

Wow! I can relate to these stories. I've been married for 12 and my son is 9. I love my husband and we were always very close. The past 2 years he started a business and working longer days. I know he works hard but now he's going out with the guys every fri and sometimes sat night. If he's home he focuses on the computer and his phone. He has a life and friends he visits daily. But l'm the parent, work full time, makes dinner and cleans the house. I wish he wanted to take me out for a drink or spend time with me or his son without being told. At the age of 35 it makes me wonder if it's worth trying especially if I'm only the one trying.

I hear you. how are things now?

Hello,<br />
I can identify with parts of all of your stories and I am in a similar situation. I moved out of my house at 19 and moved in with my then boyfriend (now husband). I moved two states away and didn't know anybody at all. He was in school then and would spend all hours at the studio doing work and when he wasn't there, he'd go out to the bars with his friends and leave me home by myself. He told me then that it was because I wasn't old enough to go to the bar. I ended up having a medical emergency and he wouldn't even leave the studio to come home for me for that. <br />
<br />
We moved back closer to our families after he graduated and it's been nothing but work work work since then. I've cried, pleaded, begged him to come home and spend time with his family but there's always some excuse. One job he had, he'd leave work for dinner and go out and get drunk with this guy who was cheating on his wife who had a one month old baby at home. THen he'd go back to work. <br />
<br />
The current job isn't as bad as that but now he is blaming the bad economy and telling me that he has to work all the hours he does because other people are getting laid off and he needs to try and make sure he does a good job so he doesn't meet a similar fate. Problem is, that after 17 years of this, I don't care any more. I can't rely on him for anything. When I need a favor, he's the last one I call. WHen he's home, all he talks about is work related stuff. I've gotten to where I don't like him any more.<br />
<br />
We have two children, 13 and 8 and I feel like we've gotten to the point where we are doing more damage by modelling such a loveless marriage then by separating. I'm not happy, and at 35 I feel like I don't want to waste any more of my life. I talked to him about it today and he immediately started calling me names and blaming me for the situation because I'm a negative horrible person. I know he won't move out so I will have to be the one but I'm scared. I don't like to feel like I'm giving up and making that kind of move and decision is so permanent and terrifying. Did I not do enough? SHould I just stay? I don't really know what to do.

I can't believe, I see myself in your history. The difference is because for 4 year i do not work, i do not drive also I do not speak english, he never help me go to school for learn english ou drive, I had depression. And Back to Brazil for 1 year, there I took my life back, but my son got very sick and him too.<br />
I need came back to USA, after so much abuse, and ulcer, I decided change my life, I study english by myself, I got job, I go to gym, I decide what I want, he always decided for me, I learn to drive, I made, him help for this, now I am more strong, he is suprised, because now i am another person, he said that I am change, I aswer yes I change, thanks, you made this. Sometimes i miss myself, I was so sweet, and funny, everybody would like stay close me because I am so happy person. <br />
But now I am taking the control of my life, but is not easy, I completly understand you.<br />
Be strong dear and God will help you!<br />
<br />
(Sorry my english is not god yet)<br />

I joined this site because I saw all of your stories which are like mine. I have been married 28 years and have two sons in college. Raising the boys distracted me somewhat from my husband's workaholism but now that they are grown I feel more alone that ever. I have a demanding job, I have friends, hobbies, but when I come home even when hubby is here, I feel so alone. He spends every evening and weekend in front of his computer working on his "creative projects," like independent films and other projects that take up all his free time and cost us money, never bring in money. I am afraid what a divorce would do to my sons even though they are successful young adults, but I am feeling a breaking point. He is also out of town a good deal of the time.

I think the workaholic partner takes it's toll when the kids grow up.in my situation our children kept me busy and compensated. When you are once more alone together as a couple, the dysfunctionality of the relationship can no longer be avoided.perhaps the issue should have been addressed years ago but we keep on hoping all will be well.
We are deluding ourselves!

Oh my gosh...these stories could have all been written by me. I have been married to my workaholic husband for 31 years. When our daughter was growing up, I have to admit - he made time to come to her sports games, school plays, etc. Now that she is an adult, his life is CONSUMED with work. He travels, works late, works on weekends...when he's here, he's not really "here." Describing my home life as lonely is an understatement. He is generous to a fault with "stuff" - beautiful jewelry, etc - but I've told him time and time that what I want is HIM, not stuff.<br />
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I recently found out that he had been cheating on me. Devastating as it was, it allowed us to TALK a bit and he told me that he really wanted US to work. I was overjoyed at the thought that we would work together to save our marriage. But then, he became distant and cold - so we sat down again and he told me that he was completely focused on work and that the kind, warm, romantic man I married "didn't exist" any longer. He wasn't sure if that guy would ever come back. WHAM - I was slapped in the head again! He was ready to leave so as not to "hurt me anymore than he had." I said, "what would hurt me more was if you gave up without TRYING to save our relationship."<br />
<br />
I told him that, while I don't LIKE the person he is right now, I still love him and could live with him PROVIDED he seek therapy to find out WHY he is unable to enjoy anything about time with his family/wife/etc now. He has agreed, although he's not sure if it will do any good. I, too, am seeking therapy and hopefully we can work this out and save our marriage.<br />
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What frightens me is that, while I am an employable professional, I have been out of the workforce (except for freelance work) for more than 15 years. To say I'm worried about finding a job to support myself at this stage of my life is also an understatement. But...if the marriage ends...I'll know that we have given it our all.

Wow oh wow!!! So nice to see I am not losing my mind. Granted my husband is not lazy...outside the<br />
home, but inside it's a different story. He most certainly acts like a zombie and as my 14year old son<br />
pointed out, he eats, sleeps, and works. We too go nowhere, I could care less about a sex life. We have five children together and one on the way. I have been very honest with him, and he just keeps<br />
on keeping on. He does have some passive agressive traits which allow him to attract distruction to<br />
himself, and thus continuing the cycle of having to work so hard. I think the most disgusting moment in our marriage was when he was getting overtime a sixth and seventh day to be exact. We had our kid's(three at the time) in a Christian school extremely expensive and he saved bonds and cashed all of the to send them, about 15,000worth. By no means were we ever well off. He literally worked 80+hours every week. And on occasion he would make the comment, boy they are<br />
handing it out like candy. (the overtime that is) Most recently I lost about 30% of my hair, due to all the stress I was put under. That was in 2009. The texture changed, the amount changed, I wore a wig for about six months, and then a hat for about 1 and a half years. I would tell him often I need help. I need help. (with the kid's that is) I was ignored. Now for some odd reason a light shines up his a** and wants to change. The rage of the storm is now quieted down, the debris has been sweep away, and he comes in riding on his horse with a trashbag and shovel. REALLY!!?? It's done. Now you want to help. Of course that's the resentment in myself. Like a day late a dollar short. And so it just doesn't rest in me, but the kid's too. Year four was a very pivitol point in our marriage, because I was getting ready to pack up. It was in December of (lost count of the years) that he got car jacked, and for some odd reason called home. Gees wonder who answered the phone. He was tramatized after for a period, and then picked up where he left off about three years after that. He doesn't know it yet but for my health and the health of the baby, I will get some council in before the baby is due. He<br />
would natrually have to join, he says he will. But I look at him and see red. I think I have gotten validated by reading all the comments on this wonderful site, such as I am lonely, I am tired, I feel not heard, worthless. Oh and by the way, my son treats me as such, so as he commented the other day, you have done nothing for me.As in I as his mother have done nothing for the boy(way to go dad)It hurts but it doesn't because I have been the one there for him. His sounding board, he's 'friend' in a way of just listening to some youthful stories, that if he had good friendships he would share with them, joke telling, story telling, teacher issues etc. I am at home, a stay at home mom that is. So when they home all their energy comes to me. The four that are in school. My four year old yearns for his dad, and rightly so. The eye contact is still not there. Meaning there is a paper in front of his face, or a call about some crap job, or getting Amazon right away to see if he sold something. Then maybe between him sitting on his 'throne' will he have time to pay attention to his little boy. There is no rest and I am in desperate need of that. Freetime is limited because of 'his schedule'. Oh that precious schedule. But we will see. I guess age is the culprit here. Age has crept up on him, and he no longer can do the massive schedule like he use to.

Recently separated from a workaholic husband. My ex ran his own business in real estate and married for 7 yrs 2 kids. I always knew it was a problem but never knew it was a medically proven workaholic disease. It was like living with a zombie. eat, sleep everthing and anything was his work. No hobbies, no social interest, lack of intimacy and communication. it was very hard living with someone always emotionally and physically unavailable. There was no balance of work or family life. <br />
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As a wife felt natually alone raising the kids, empty, starting to feel undesired, then realising what is the point in staying with someone when marriage is about partnership, give and take, love, having a sex life and intimacy to connect. Workaholics are people who need help, but its so socially acceptable that its a good addiction. They are always in denial. Their success gives them power and strength that they think its all they need. Until something happens eg: divorce or ill health. I choose not to live with someone who does not know how to balance life and work. All my life i cant wait for him to change or show me some of his sacrifice. Where women sacrife their life to bring up kids. Life is hard and marriage should make it easier by helping each other take off the load off physically and emotionally. <br />
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By experience living with a workaholic nothing will make them change no therapy or marriage counselling. Unless something hits them like a brick wall. They will surely regret it for the rest of their lives.

Hi! I just wanted to write in. I kind of know how you feel with the moving out of state. My husband is in the NAVY and we got stationed from Texas to New Jersey. I don't know any one here. I have to friends and no family. I was staying at home with our son for about a month.... but I got soooo depressed and I felt like I was in isolation. We also faught all the time. I think gettting a job is great. you can make friends at work. As for your husband and you.. there is deffinate hope. I don't see a failed marriage here. Just a communication problem. Go to your local church and get a list of baby sitters to watch your kids and make sure that you and your hubby get a date a week... or at least every other week. At first it will seem akward because it will be like... " sooooo...how are you?" type thing... but have some drinks, go to a casino, go dancing. Act like you did when you were dating. You just forgot who each other were. Get back into it.

First , I am very grateful to have come across this site and for all of you sharing your stories . It seems that we are all in the same boat . Tears are just rolling down my face and all I can do is nod everytime I come across the same experience . I've tried to pick myself up and go on living life without my husband '' there '' .... but no matter how many new friends I make , or how much I try to use up all my time ( so I don't feel lonely ) .... it doesn't really change much . My husband needs to WAKE UP and look around him ... we are people , we have feelings ... we are his family and we need him to be there with us . Close that darn computer when you come home , turn off the Blackberry , and ask your wife if maybe SHE wants to come out for a drink with you instead of your colleagues ! <br />
Good luck to all of you out there . Keep your strength and keep fighting to WAKE THEM UP !!!!

I have been married for 16 years and I am the guy in this relationship. I am married to a woman who cannot stop moving. She worked 10-12 hours a day, monday thru friday. she take a karate class 3-5 times a week plus on saturday goes to school. This has been a sore spot in our relationship since the beginning and I should have seen it. She hate watching movies or at least reads something while occassionaly watching. When she finally comes home she sits in front of her computer typing is the best way to say it. No it's not **** or cyber. Spread sheets,,code..pick one of the computer qeeks things. I have asked her to stop, smell life..watch a movie..her answer is we need to go out. Why? she is always out..and push has come to shove. I finally quit. 15 years of always being busy...ignoring our sex life which was barely once a month. I would cwrtainly like to say if you realize you are in this situation get out. We tried therapy...that was a joke...we tried date night cook night...all of them fell by the wayside. She never saw her father do that to her as he was another workaholic refusing to come out of his office until she went to bed. she is the same working until midnight every night and up at 5 am typing again. I have left. I'm sure nothing has changed. but I pity the next person in line. save yourself walk away before the pain starts to kill you because it almost did me in. leave they wont even know youre gone.

trie ... I can't comment ba<x>sed on your husband's character since only you will know that. But if he is a decent guy and has been faithful to you, I would encourage you to hold on until he retires from the military. The military is a very tough life for both member and spouse but it has its benefits. One of the big benefits is the well-earned military pension which can provide a great deal of freedom after retirement. Again, I think it's well-deserved because of the sacrifices that you make for this country. Take a look at the outside civilian world and think about how much financial pressure most people have to face in their lives. The majority of Americans will continue to scrape by in their 40s while you can finally relax a little with your (well-deserved) military pension and health care coverage for you and your children. It's easy to take these for granted while you're in the military, but they are highly coveted by the outside world.<br />
<br />
It sounds like you may be struggling with depression as well as loneliness. If that's the case, depression will continue to haunt you regardless of your life's situation (in the military, outside the military, still married, divorced). It may be worthwhile to see a counselor or psychologist if that is the case.<br />
<br />
Hang in there! Maybe you can switch roles once your husband retires, or allow you to go back to school/work while he spends more time at home. Think about the good possibilities.

I am in the same predicament as Spring73 wrote. Actually all of your stories mirror mine. I wonder what is the best thing to do everyday of my life with my husband. He is a good man but after 13 years of marriage he is not the person I want to spend the rest of my life with but just as Spring73 said, I am staying for the sake of my children. I love them so very much that the idea of hurting them by leaving their father is too much for me to bear, their sadness and confusion and hurt would literally destroy me I think. I also had a career but gave it up to have my kids and I realize with an ugly clarity that if I chose to leave, my childrens lives would suffer, their quality of life would diminish and I would end up spending less time with them , having to work full time to just stay afloat and our lives would be worse off than they are now. I promised myself I would never get in a situation where I depended on a man to take care of me and now here I am doing just that. I do not feel guilty for spending his paycheck because I have never taken advantage of his money and in the back of my mind I know that he earned it for us and I try to respect that. I do not buy anything for myself materialistically. I get by on what I have and my few indulgences (paints to do artwork and books) I use out of my spending allowance that we split every month (it is not a huge amount,..a couple hundred dollars each month, and would cost him 10 times more if he had a hired nanny and cook to do all that I do) BUT I feel so beholden to him because of my children who are all under the age of 8. They love him, especially my son who wants his attention so desperatley. I have talked about this with him, and he promises once he retires (military) in 4 more years, things will be better, we will settle in a house,and he will have more time...I've lost all faith . I keep myself going with hobbies and interests but honeslty I am so alone, so sad, and scared for myself and my children becasue the feeling of desperation keep rearing up more and more. Anyone who can help...it would be so appreciated.

I have been married for over 27 years to a workaholic. In the beginning, I had three kids under the age of 5 and I could not depend on him for anything. In response, I became a stronger person and stopped relying on him. I developed outside interests and friends and lived a very fulfilled life outside my marriage. I was living as if I was single. Five years ago his career started to downslide, and since that no longer held the enjoyment it once did for him, he started having affairs. I never realized as my lonliness within our marriage grew, so did his. If you want to stay married, tell him how you feel and don't stop until he truly understands. Sit him down. Tell him his behaviour is unacceptable and is hurting both of you and your marriage. I gave my wedding band and engagement ring back to my husband. That woke him up to his destructive behavior and he is in therapy now. I wish I had done this 25 years ago.

Hi there,<br />
<br />
I am a mother of 3 kids under 10 like you. My husband runs his own business and is continually working or thinking about the work he has to do. He is a great father but honestly a negelctful husband at best. I love him and believe he is a good man but the light has just gone on for me that I want more from my love life than this. We have been married 13 years and I am 34 years old. I was life, honesty and passion and I want it with him. I have taken a year to deal with my own issues and self esteem and I believe this will help me to approach him and begin communicating our problems together without me becoming too emotional and add to the drama. I used to do that all the time! I think it is good to remember that our partners are good people too (hopefully, until proven guilty ofcourse!) and deserve time to learn of our concerns in a calm way and time to process this and apply small changes. <br />
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I am going to read more about workaholism online and process what my part is in this and then try to approach it with him. Thats my plan anyway.<br />
<br />
I'm pretty sure he wants me forever, I think he just doesn't know how?<br />
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Thanks for sharing your story,<br />
I hope you find hapiness in your journey with your kids and you.

These stories sound so much like my own. I just want to thank all of you who so willingly share your lives to help those who are still trying to make sense of it all. God Bless you. D

I share a similar story with all of you and it's finally come to the point where we will be seperating too. I also agree that being seperated will be lonely too, but atleast the feeling of waiting for him to come home or waiting to see if he'll be somewhere or just remember he needs to be somewhere with the family. <br />
I asked my husband for a divorce about 3 years ago, my daughter was 1 and my son was 3. We'd moved for another promotion and I was sleep deprived, exhausted and lonely. I can honestly say I don't remember what his response to me was. I saw my life revolving around his work and travel schedule. We were hiring babysitters to fill in the time I couldn't be with them and he saw nothing wrong with that. He still thinks I ruined the marriage, because I stopped showing affection towards him. I was emotionally drained most of the time. What normal relationship consists of long time spans of absence? Where one partner is responsible for 3 peoples emotions? Thiers and thier childrens? Oh and don't leave out my husband expecting mad pationate reunions every time he arrived home from a trip and I just couldn't fake it anymore.<br />
I know I sound resentful and I don't deny it. A marriage is about partnership, shared experiences, shared everything. Tipping the scale a little here and there can't hurt, but when the scales are about to collapse, there is a serious problem. <br />
Well my husband finally said he's ready to end it, that nothing he does makes me happy, but I disagree. He could do one thing and it would make me the happiest person ever. He could put down the phone when work is calling at any hour of the day, he could refuse to be gone for 3 weeks at a time, including weekends and lastly he can actually enjoy doing things with his family instead of doing them because he thinks it's what would make us happy, but instead do it because it makes him happy. Basically he could choose his family over a demanding, never ending needy job. I don't mean quit, I mean set boundaries...but it's already too late. One day he will realize what he's missed, one day he will say I shoud've spent more time at home and not at work. Good luck to those who haven't yet lost thier spouses to the mistress job!

Hi everyone, my husband is always working and I am lonely bringing up our 2 kids (8 and 11). We are married now for 12 and half years but I am gradually getting tired of waiting for my husband to spend time with us. We never go out , the last date was ..uhm 3 years ago maybe. As soon as he wakes, he picks up his phone and starts texting and this goes on all day till late in the night. There are a couple of people who he is currently working very closely with on a serious project and he discusses most of it with me, but he is in constant contact with them day and night. Sometimes when we are sleeping he springs up to take notes!!! I have also come to realise that anyone who has anything to do with work will come first, be it a business associate, his PA. If an associate calls and needs to meet, my husband will drop everything and go. If I call and ask him to join us at the school sports day, he never makes it. When he does manage, he reminds me all the time how much he had to sacrifice. You know that feeling of being cheated on by the work? I feel unloved, worthless and unimportant even though we have our small moments.(we take walks every evening on our property) He loves flying but he just cant spare the time for it and then he feels very bad about it. I just feel like I will wake up one day and life has passed us by... how do I keep on?

Thank you everyone for giving me such sound advice and also helping me to see that I am not alone in this situation. As an update, we our now divorced (sadly it turns out there were in fact a few affairs w/in our 9 yrs of marriage). I'm not proud of getting the divorce, but I thought long and hard regarding the remaining years of my life and thought of also my children's lives. We are still very amicable (mostly for our children's sake) and co-parent together very well. It would seem in a strange way that our relationship "after the divorce" had greatly improved (as exes). I know I am not out of the woods with our children dealing with all of this, however, I could no longer continue on as if things were going to change for the better nor stay in a dying, loveless relationship for their sake...it wouldn't be fair to them nor to me. Though I am anxious and somewhat fearful of the unknown, I am looking forward to starting the next phase in my life.

Our stories are identical except our kids are grown. He works out of town almost all the time so I relocated to be with him,leaving my kids and grandkids. Still I sit and wait for him to come home so we can share that 30 min to hour togather, don't know anyone here. would probably be easier if it was another woman,but how do you you compete for your husbands time over his beloved job? He can never take the day off because there is no to fill in for him. Would the company just turn to dust if god forbid something happened to him?It's so bad I had an episode with my heart and called him in the middle of the night to tell him I was going to the ER, and he tells me to call him back and tell him what the doctor says!! I love him, Is it really so bad just to want to spend time with your husband? What's the point of even being married? Good luck to you. I've been married to him 21 years and the last 10 have been like this. If I could offer any advice it would be to really think about where you will be in 10 years and who will be with you when you need them.

I can not believe we have the same exact story. I got on hear to find some encouragement and I read your post. We need to connect somehow. Matbe we can encourage one another and you mentioned no REAL friends, same here, I live in a fairly new town where it seems as though no one can reate, email me if you like caphilbrick@gmail.com

Spring73, please don't let yourself be hurt by the nasty comments made by christianbrower. He clearly has no idea what you are going through. Just the fact that he thinks you don't have a job is ridiculous - you are raising three kids all by yourself! It's not uncommon for people who haven't had any experience with work addiction to think that it's no big deal. I hope for christianbrower's sake that he never has to know the pain a family can feel as the result of work addiction.<br />
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As far as the issues you are having, you are not alone. I know exactly how you feel. My husband is a wonderful man, but his work addiction has taken a toll on our marriage and children. He is rarely physically or emotionally available to any of us because he is so focused on his work. <br />
<br />
A lot of people scoff at the term work addiction. Work is definitely a good thing, so how could there be too much of it, right?! What most people don't realize is that there is a serious issue behind the term. Real work addiction is a medically recognized obsessive-compulsive disorder. According to WebMD, to someone with true work addiction, the "obsession with work is all-occupying, which prevents workaholics from maintaining healthy relationships, outside interests, or even take measures to protect their health." <br />
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Working to take financial care of your family is commendable, but men and women with work addiction issues work unnecessarily long hours because they just plain can't help themselves. I don't know about your husband, but mine is at the office all alone every night, everyone else in the company having gone home hours ago. <br />
<br />
Work addicts typically have very few, if any, outside friends or hobbies, and often have very little in the way of relationships with their children or spouse. It spirals into stress, depression, isolation and loss of physical health.<br />
<br />
My husband and I have spoken very openly about his work addiction, and it bothers him as much as it does me. He doesn't like the fact that he's missing out on his kids' childhoods, but he just can't seem to stop himself... He is currently looking into finding a therapist.<br />
<br />
As for myself, I have learned that I have to set boundaries. I plan my schedule around my children's interests, my job and my hobbies. I hire babysitters when necessary, and I have cultivated my own friends and social life. My husband is welcome to join if he chooses, but I find that I am happier and somewhat less resentful if I expect him to not be available. <br />
<br />
I wish you the best of luck sorting your life out.

Everyone has to work. If you had a job, you would be fussing about how you are never at home with the kids. You need to grow up, for gods sake your over 30 years old. And stop thinking your better than him. and yes I also think you should go see a therapist but, TAKE HIM WITH YOU!

That's not a marriage idiot. Spring73, Leave him, period.

After reading many of these articles, I think these flippin men are driving us crazy in so many ways!! Let's drive them crazy! It takes two baby, to make a dream come true!!
Put some music on and listen, sing and dance. We have to find a place to be happy again. We all want it. We knew we were marrying the nerdy workaholic and we knew he was marrying someone who required alot of attention!! Remind him!! That should make it fun. It takes two baby... me and you!

The first thing you should do is talk to a qualified therapist, preferably a woman, who can help you come to grips with your very sad situation. Your husband has been dumping all the family responsibilities on to you so it's not surprising that you feel used and unappreciated and totally unloved especially when he doen't even initiate sex-ever. If you're able to take a second job I'd highly recommend it and then bank the money in a separate bank account and hide all your bank statements. Also, check out some Emotional Abuse websites, maybe they'll help you come to your decision more easily. And one last thing, don't think that your children can't sense that there's something wrong-they're very perceptive.